While the grid system may be Manhattan's defining structural feature, it's the stories of its inhabitants that truly hold the island together.

In 2009, cartographer and writer Becky Cooper embarked on a journey across the length of Manhattan, handing out blank, hand-printed maps of Manhattan to random strangers.

With each map, people were also provided a stamped-envelope addressed to Cooper herself. The only instructions were to reimagine Manhattan as their own.

Soon after, Cooper received dozens of maps illustrated with personal stories ranging from childhood adventures to encounters with Manhattanhenge (by Neil deGrasse Tyson!).

In a new book titled, "Mapping Manhattan: A Love (And Sometimes Hate) Story In Maps," Cooper has collected maps from 75 New Yorkers who shared their experiences.

Check out a few of the intimate maps below:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Patricia Marx

  • Fear and Relief

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • Bad Kissing, Good Kissing, and Everything in Between

  • Growing Uptown

  • Eve

Also on HuffPost: